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UConn men’s basketball up to No. 21 in AP Poll; Karaban named Freshman of the Week

The Huskies are on the upswing after back-to-back wins.

NCAA Basketball: Connecticut at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

UConn men’s basketball is moving up the AP Top 25 after a chaotic week in the world of college basketball and two road wins by the Huskies. After 15 of 25 teams in last week’s AP Poll suffered at least one loss, UConn’s 2-0 week — capped by wins over DePaul and Georgetown — was enough to move the Huskies up from No. 24 to No. 21.

Even with UConn’s January slide, the Huskies remain the top team in Big East per KenPom, holding steady at No. 6 and still owning a defense and offense in the top 20 in adjusted efficiency.

The Huskies are joined by four other Big East teams in this week's poll alongside Marquette (No. 10), Xavier (No. 13), Providence (No. 20), and Creighton (No. 23). The Bluejays re-entrance into the polls means UConn will have two top-25 matchups on the slate this week, as No. 10 Marquette comes to Hartford Tuesday before the Huskies head out to Omaha, Nebraska to take on the No. 23 Bluejays on Saturday.

While last Saturday’s win over lowly Georgetown was far from easy, it did mark UConn’s first time with back-to-back wins in over a month. Even though the Big East regular season title is out of reach, at least one win against Marquette or Creighton could do wonders for Big East Tournament seeding and significantly bolster the Huskies’ NCAA tournament resume.

Karaban named Freshman of the Week (again)

Alex Karaban’s quest for the Big East Freshman of the Year award got some more momentum Monday, as Southborough, Massachusetts native was named Big East Freshman of the Week for the fifth time this season. After tallying five assists in the win over DePaul, Karaban was a key scorer down the stretch to seal the win against the Hoyas, scoring all 11 of his points in the second half, including a clutch 3-pointer with 27 seconds remaining to secure the victory.

While fellow freshman Donovan Clingan has gotten a ton of buzz, Karaban has been equally impressive in his first full season in Storrs. After sliding into the starting lineup early in the season following Samson Johnson’s injury, Karaban has been a steady source of offense for the Huskies, averaging 9.7 points per game and shooting 38.4 percent from three.

Karaban’s teammate Adama Sanogo also took home some weekly honors, being named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll after averaging 20 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in the Huskies’ wins over DePaul and Georgetown.